PARK & RIDE/WALK VENUES FOR THE 2022 COMMONWEALTH GAMES
In Spring 2022, EP was contracted to design, manage and operate 17 park and ride / walk sites across the West Midlands to support the transport of spectators to venues throughout the Commonwealth Games. With over 250,000 spectators using these facilities to reach their destined venue, the safety, security and enjoyment of spectators was critical to the success of Birmingham 2022.
EP recruited, trained and managed a pool of over 500 local staff specifically for the project with roles including:
- SIA (DS) Security – Providing 24 hour asset protection for each site, patrolling temporary infrastructure and providing a point of conflict mitigation during ingress and egress phases.
- Safety Stewards – Responsible for the safe passage of spectators to and from the load zones to the parking areas, including the management of crossing points, entrances and exits as well as queue management.
- Ticket Scanning Stewards – Responsible for the scanning of parking reservation tickets, ensuring only valid ticket holders for the correct parking session on the correct event day were accepted, whilst identifying any blue badge holders or those with specific accessibility needs that required further assistance / priority parking.
- Chapter 12D Traffic Marshalls – Implementing traffic measures with Chapter 12D compliance to close roads, prevent fly parking and assist pedestrian crossing points during peak times, working in partnership with the crowd safety team.
- Accessibility and Wayfinding Stewards – Providing a customer service function, ensuring assistance was provided to any persons requiring direction, further information or accessible access to the buses.
- Multiple Sessions; Multiple locations – with many competition sports being held across multiple sessions per day, there were mostly different ticket holders for AM vs PM sessions. Detailed modelling was required to ensure that the capacity of buses, load zones and car parks would not be breached, whilst ensuring that no spectators missed their ticketed event. Some sites also provided buses to different venues during different sessions on different days, relying on the EP team to ensure thorough briefings and close working management and supervision of the team, resulting in the correct direction given to spectators.
- Park and Ride / Walk Demand – The demand for park and ride / walk sites was beyond expectations, most notably for accessible parking space due to the lack of supply of suitable parking close to the venues. Whilst this meant that on the day sales were limited and the volume of arrivals / departures was predictable, it often meant that many sites were sold to capacity, with all areas operating in full, often placing significant pressure on the scanning, crossing point and loading operations. EP worked closely to plan each aspect of the spectator journey to ensure that all pinch points could cope with the expected demand and would mitigate the impact on local road and site users.
- Multiple Deployment Management – With over 17 sites operating simultaneously, with many hosting ingress and egress phases for 2 sessions per day, the EP scheduling team had significant challenges in planning and mobilising over 10,000 shifts for the project. This led to the expansion of the team to accommodate the need for a staffing ‘control room’ operating 18 hours per day, 7 days per week for 4 weeks to provide the necessary coordination and support to the site management teams.
Despite significant challenges to deliver the project, EP successfully fulfilled its contractual obligations and delivered the project on behalf of Transport for West Midlands with budget and meeting all of its KPI’s in full. Furthermore, the team received commendations from both spectators and the OC for the ‘spirit’ in which it engaged with spectators and reacted positively to changing requirements and adapting to change.